Frustration about forgetting stuff I learned

I have been reading through YDKJS for a while now. And I am about to finish the 3rd book, this and object prototype. I wrote down every code snippet I saw, try to understand every bit of it, both the logic and the syntax. And even there are a lot of stuff that are beyond my scope for now, I still wrote them down and try to comprehend it.

Before all these I finished the “basic front end project” from free code camp’s curriculum. Finished my portfolio, as well as a simple tribute page.
bootstrap website clone
nerdfusion site clone

This morning I was trying to do some simple things using HTML and CSS I realised that I forgot a lot of the stuff I’ve learned. When I’ve done the 3rd site, bootstrap site clone, I remembered I’ve basically developed my own flow, of course when it comes to CSS and all the specifics I still need to google and ask around, but when it comes to getting things done, I was confident enough that I’ve known the whole procedure. I’ve done the nerdfusion clone site within a day or two. And I can do it without any sort of hiccups.

This morning however when I opened a new HTML file, apart from the usual HTML tags and meta tags, everything seems so new to me. I don’t even know when using bootstrap, where to put your container-fluid thingy. where do I include “normalised CSS file” where do i include the bootstrap CDN…

All in all I am quite frustrated and after I finish this and object prototype, I may have to go back to HTML and CSS and start some new projects just to revisit all these.

Does this happen to any of you guys? Forgetting what you’ve learnt? I think when it comes to learning speed I am definitely on the slow side. I can’t devote 7,8 hours of time just to code everyday. I’ll have to admit, this morning’s incident felt like getting hit by thunder…

1 Like

This does and has happened to me. I can say from experience however that it is getting better. I still need to look up things all the time. Through doing it over and over, however, I find things I don’t need to look up anymore. There is honestly just too much information to memorize everything though. I don’t think you need to invest 8hrs a day, but coding something every day if possible should help you retain the information. Also, and a big one… Set goals for yourself. Set several goals like:

  • Why am I learning this?
  • What thing don’t I feel confident in that I can get better at?
  • What new thing can I learn today?
  • What can I create this week?
  • Who can I help with this?

I’m no expert but this has helped me over the past few months and I’m now working on the Data Visualization Projects. In fact today I spent most of my day just refreshing things I couldn’t quite remember about CSS (like some of the CSS selectors… there are many!) as well as somethings about jquery and ajax. I hope this helps and keep your head up!

P.S. Use a Pomodoro Clock. You’ll make one in an upcoming project but it is a great tool if you have limited time to study!


thanks for sharing… this is the 1st time it happened to me and I will try to cope with it by coming back to those things more frequently.

The types of things you’re forgetting are simple to google and hopefully, as you move on to more advanced topics you’ll begin to automate those kinds of things. I’d save a template for all the tools you use that way when you start a new project you can just dive in without worry about setting up your environment.

Indeed. It was quite basic. And i think not very hard to pickup.

that’s a great idea i’ll do that from now on.

1 Like

Don’t get down on yourself about forgetting specific details like that. As iamknox said, that is what google is for. The important things is that you know what to google, and where to look for the information you need.

Instead of memorizing syntax, I feel like it might be better to read a book like YDKJS with a focus on the concepts. For example, you might cover a topic like cohesion and become aware that JS often coverts types rather than throwing errors, or learn about closure and understand that global variables can often be avoided. The exact way to implement these things can be looked up right when you need them.

1 Like

YDKJS is an advanced JS book. It’s a very hard read when you don’t have enough JavaScript code written(burned in your deeper brain memory). It focuses on the underlying JS mechanism and the reasons behind best practices, not what the best practices are. It even has a big chapter talking about other languages(Java, C#, C++) influences on JS. If you’re going thought the first cert on FCC and don’t have much other experience. I suggest you drop YDKJS, for now. It’s tough enough.

I went thought books

JS the good/bad part

I didn’t get it. I went thought the famous video course

Javascript Understanding the Weird Parts

I thought I got it, but I forgot a lot of things.

Now, I’m reading YDKJS too, on book 4 (later books are actually easier read). I think I will finally get it this time.

1 Like

I work as a developer, mostly thanks to freeCodeCamp. I started last year as a desktop application developer before finally moving to FE 4 months ago.

It happens to me on a daily basis. I mean, I mainly use reduct and redux at my workplace and I still forget the basics (e.g. how to make the “main” component render to HTML) almost every day. It is completely normal, it happens to everyone, and that is why the more code you write, the easier it is to go back and see how you did it before.

I remember when I started studying here a couple of years ago and rushing through HTML and CSS since it felt so easy. Yet, when I finally got my FE certificate I knew a lot about JS but wasn’t able to really basics things in CSS.

Things get better with time. That happens to everyone. Don’t give up! :slight_smile:


@RadDog25 @TheOmegaBlack @dahis39

thanks for all the suggestion and encouragement.
i’ll not stop until i become a developer.
it’s always good to share experience with all the people here so I don’t actually feel alone,.

Fear not, I forget things all the time. I’m pretty sure most people do. Unless you have photographic memory, it will take years before you know everything without looking it up a tenth (or hundredth) time. Sometimes when I keep using a feature and keep forgetting what it is or get confused between two things I write them down on a cue card. Just as an example, I kept forgetting the difference between visibility: hidden & display: none. After a while I got tired of looking it up and just wrote it down. That cue card is tucked away in a drawer somewhere and i don’t need it anymore. Same thing with vs event.currentTarget. These things are confusing sometimes and I can’t for the life of me remember which is which, so a cue card comes in handy. Yep, there is so much to learn, it’s impossible to remember it all. The important thing is to keep learning, keep coding and keep on going. It all connects eventually and even though you don’t remember it all, the connections become more fluid and recall is quicker. Learning is not about memorizing but about making the connections and understanding them. Google or other search engines of your choice are your tools. Knowing what to search for is a great skill.


thanks for the words. will keep on learning. not planning to stop now.

I use anki for spaced repetition, you can check it out :wink:

For me, it’s more useful and important to know that an X command or Y property or Z function exists in this or that language or framework, that will do what I need to be done (my long-term memory).

Then I just consult the reference manual, help file, or google to refresh in my brain the gritty and finer details of that command or function, what parameters it takes, variants of it, gotchas, return values, etc… this is my short-term memory.

I can’t possibly fit all these details in my head, and the brain is designed to forget things it considers not important at the moment. Think of it as short-term and long-term memory both working together.